one tenseless moment liquefies to be lost
into the stream of static’s gray light

a lapse develops him the tape but
reveals the reels degaussed emptied of ghosts

he sorts through this tissue of noise
for accusative objects he could once recall

as the magnetic arrows of the tape
seethe out from their mound to forage

his perfect past a glacier’s gray retreat
looped back out of phase with itself

its low-decibel hiss resonates in throbbing waves
that mimic the present seen from behind

this present bends into an empty crease
where the next phoneme fails to arrive

there books helped him recover the echo
& filter on a model of speech

that crashed into twelve thousand darts roaming
the field her face turns in shadow

her face it blurs with gauzy silt
of words that used to comprehend her

their river spools through an oxbow bend
above a bird’s black wings smooth air

John Tipton (© 2010)